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Penguins Blank Canucks

For now, there's a new No. 1 goalie for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Jean-Sebastien Aubin wasted no time proving his worth.

In his first game in the new role, Aubin made 37 shots Monday night in a 3-0 shutout of the Vancouver Canucks.

"We played the way we were supposed to and the way we have to play," Vancouver coach Marc Crawford said. "Their goalie was outstanding. That's going to happen. We did a lot of things well but their goalie wound up winning the game for them."

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  • Aubin had a spectacular game on the same day he learned of his change in status. Top goalie Tom Barrasso has been granted a leave of absence to return home to Massachusetts to spend time with his father, gravely ill with brain cancer.

    Coach Herb Brooks refused to say that Aubin is now his first choice, probably deflecting pressure from a player who has been in just 48 NHL games.

    "I don't put a lot of designations on those things," Brooks said.

    But his only other option is the erratic Peter Skudra, whose .874 save percentage is the lowest of the team's three goalies.

    Labels don't matter to Aubin, who said he keeps his focus strictly on the short term.

    "All I think about is the next game," he said. "Work as hard as I can, get my rest, then be ready to play the next game. I don't want to think too much ahead. If you think too much, it's not good."

    The shutout was Aubin's second this season and fourth of his career.

    The Penguins are 14-1-1 in their last 16 games with the Canucks and have a 10-0-1 streak at home. Vancouver hasn't won at Pittsburgh since Jan. 7, 1989.

    Jaromir Jagr scored hs 37th goal and Robert Lang got his 19th as the Penguins stopped a two-game winless streak (0-1-1) that followed a four-game winning streak.

    Jagr, who had scored just one goal in seven games, scored on a breakaway against Felix Potvin at 14:37 of the second period.

    "That was the only mistake we made in the second period and it wound up in the net," Crawford said.

    Lang got his own rebound on a power play and put a shot over Potvin's shoulder at 13:51 of the first. Lang also set up Aleksey Morozov's goal at 15:56 of the third.

    The Penguins successfully killed a two-man disadvantage for 1:14 in the second period. Aubin stopped three shots during that power play.

    "The 5-on-3 could have certainly gotten us back in the game," Canucks forward Mark Messier said. "That's a big play and you want to do a much better job than we did on it. You want to at least get some good opportunities and we didn't seem to get that going very well."

    Penguins general manager Craig Patrick said he is not looking to acquire another goalie, nor is he certain when Barrasso might return.

    "I have no idea what the timetable will be," Patrick said. "I'm going to guess it's at least a week. It might be less, it might be more. We'll be talking to him regularly and we'll see how things go."

    The Canucks lost left wing Peter Schaefer to a knee injury in the first period. He was injured when Penguins defenseman Darius Kasparaitis fell on top of him.

    "It might have a been a slew foot," Crawford said. "We have to take a look at the tape."

    Vancouver had won two straight games, the team's first consecutive wins since Oct. 30-Nov. 5.

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